Bog Child

by Siobhan Dowd

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How does Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd fit into children's literature history and tradition?

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The novel Bog Child is listed as Young Adult, and The School Library Journal recommends it for grades nine and up.  The love story between the main character Fergus and the daughter of the archaeologist is wound around finding a bog child from the Iron Age and the North Ireland "Troubles."  It has themes of family, political action, religion, morals, love, etc.

The difficulties in this novel come from the dialogue.  It is authentic and some students will struggle with it.  In addition, the historical relevance of the 1980s "Troubles" in Ireland and the Provisional Irish Republican Army may send students researching.

Even with the difficulties for young adult readers, it is very well written.  In addition, it has a humorous surprise, handles teenage romance with sensitivity and shares the family struggle with a brother on a hunger strike tenderly.

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